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Salem Witch Trials Begin (1692) Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM
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Salem Witch Trials Begin (1692)

Viewed by many to be the result of a period of factional infighting and religious hysteria, the witch trials of Puritanical Salem Village, Massachusetts, led to the executions of 20 people—15 women and five men—and the imprisonment of approximately 150 accused witches. Even after the trials ended, people who had previously been found not guilty of witchcraft remained in prison, held until they paid their jail fees. What is "spectral evidence," and how did it play a role in the witch trials? More...
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010 7:23:46 AM
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So how many people learned of the Salem witch trials through reading Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'
AJC
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010 9:18:36 AM
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I did Joseph. Actually, through drama class in high school. I was in the play as Abigail. Loved it. Just think, being a teenage girl and having a stage to throw all that angst around night after night. And costumes+applause to top it all off. Very cathartic.
MarySM
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010 10:03:34 AM
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I did as well. And yes I performed in "The Crucible" in a high school drama class, too.
tiggr
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010 10:51:14 AM
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From Wikipedia: Spectral evidence is a form of evidence based upon dreams and visions. It was admitted in court during the Salem witch trials by the appointed chief justice, William Stoughton. The booklet A Tryal of Witches taken from a contemporary report of the proceedings of the Bury St. Edmunds witch trial of 1662 became a model for, and was referenced in the Trials when the magistrates were looking for proof that such evidence could be used in a court of law.
ladydragon91185
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010 1:07:47 PM
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Spectral evidence was testimony that the accused witch's spirit (i.e. spectre) appeared to the witness in a dream or vision. The dream or vision was admitted as evidence. Thus, witnesses (who were often the accusers) would testify that "Goody Proctor bit, pinched, and almost choked me," and it would be taken as evidence that the accused were responsible for the biting, pinching and choking even though they were elsewhere at the time.
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